Are you thinking about getting started in the kink and BDSM lifestyle?

That’s exciting!  As a certified sex therapist at SexTherapy-Online, I can help you explore this exciting world to see if it is the right fit for you and have just a few “getting started” tips as you test the waters.

Tip #1
Do some reading.
The first thing I recommend for all my clients when they are getting started in kink and BDSM is to do a little bit of reading homework (or listening- if you aren’t a reader, I recommend audio books!).  The book that I most frequently recommend for those getting started in the kink and BDSM lifestyle is The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment by Jack Morin.  This is a pivotal text on exploring all things erotic and will be a great starting point to exploring who you are as an erotic person.

Tip #2
Study Basic Vocabulary
The kink and BDSM world sometimes sounds like it is speaking a completely different language.  One of the easiest ways to learn about kink and BDSM is to study the basic vocabulary and terms in the kink and BDSM community.  There are a variety of sites that can point you in the right direction, but here are just a few:

Kink and BDSM Terminology 

BDSM Education- Dictionary

Dictionary of BDSM Terms

Tip #3
Talk to people
Do you know anyone who identifies as participating in the kink lifestyle and BDSM? If so, ask them about their experience.  I have found that people who publicly identify (at least in some circles) as kink and BDSM are often very open to talking about their experiences and their lifestyle.  The kink and BDSM lifestyle is generally a very accepting and open community and most people encourage community and networking.  Most major US cities offer a lot of resources to the kink and BDSM community.  In Austin, TX, where I have an in-office practice (although I work online with any clients located in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas), there are numerous resources where you can go to educational seminars and community gatherings.  In Austin, there is kind of a one stop shop website that lists all events, community gatherings, educational seminars, etc. you can check out.  Even though kink and BDSM in some areas a bit underground, do some searching online and you can find all the information that you need.

Tip #4
Figure out Who You Are
Some people who participate in the kink and BDSM lifestyles feel like this is a part of their identity, not just something they do in the bedroom.  Some people just identify as kinky in the bedroom, but vanilla in the streets.  As you start this journey, keep in mind that kink and BDSM can be a lifestyle and/or a set of behaviors and everywhere and anywhere in between.  Understanding your sexual identity (who you are as a sexual person) is important to understanding what you like and what you don’t like.

A good resource that I like (I don’t know how other members of the kink and BDSM community feel about this website, but I like it) is  It’s limited but is interesting on the questions it encourages you to ask yourself and potentially your partner.  There are others out there, just do some perusing in your research.

Tip #5
Communicate and be Flexible
If you are in a relationship or some version of something, and want to explore this, effective communication is essential.  BDSM and kink isn’t something you insist upon as a deal breaker in a sexual relationship if you haven’t already established a strong foothold in the identity.  BDSM and kink is not something that should be used to “save” a relationship.  BDSM and kink isn’t a last resort.  BDSM and kink should never be used as a way to abuse or victimize a person in a nonconsensual way.  Posing it to your partner should be done gently and with a lot of communication.  Not everyone gets it and not everyone identifies with the BDSM and kink lifestyle.  It’s important to take your time in exploring this individually and together, and respecting the boundaries of your existing relationship.

If you or anyone you know needs help with this, feel free to contact me and talk about setting up an appointment with a certified sex therapist using the form below.  This is an exciting journey, and I would be honored to help facilitate your journey.